Owners: Paul and Diane DuBois, Tribes Hill, N.Y.
FMCA membership number: F296221 (we joined in 2001)Type of pet: Four dogs
Names: Reedy, Annie, Chloe, Stuffy (short for “Mom’s Little Stuff”)
Breeds: Reedy: mixed; Annie: golden retriever; Chloe: golden mix; Stuffy: sheltie mix
Ages: Reedy, 9; Annie, 8 (will be 9 in January); Chloe: 9; Stuffy will be 7 in November
What type of motorhome do you own?
We have a 40-foot double slide 2002 Monaco Diplomat.
How often do your pets accompany you on motorhome trips?
All of our pets travel with us whenever the motorhome leaves our yard, from the shortest trip to stays of four to six months in Florida during the winter. They can actually distinguish the sound of the motorhome keys being picked up, as opposed to the sound of any of our other vehicles or house keys. And do they ever get excited when they hear that sound!
What do you like best about motorhoming with your pets?
Our family is together and complete. We don’t have to worry about how the “kids” are doing with a sitter. (We would never leave them in a kennel.)
Was it easy for your pet to adapt to motorhome travel?
All four of them enjoyed motorhome travel from day 1. Adapting was never an issue.
Do your pets have favorite spots in the motorhome?
Reedy stands or lies next to Paul’s pilot seat.
Annie lies on the bed — directly under the air conditioner.
Chloe lies on the couch.
Stuffy lies on the floor next to Diane.
What are your pets’ favorite toys?
Reedy likes tennis balls. The others, especially Chloe, like stuffed animals. Her current favorites include a moose and a pink dog.
Have you modified your motorhome in any way to better accommodate your pets?
We had both a couch and a J-lounge in our coach. This spring we decided to remove the J-lounge to provide more floor space. We keep all the furniture covered, and we keep towels at the door to clean all 16 paws on those inevitable rainy days. We have purchased a doggy ramp so that, if the steps become too difficult for our dogs as they get older, they still will be able to get in and out of the motorhome.
What is your favorite activity to do with your pets while traveling?
Simply taking them on long walks. They all love to explore new areas.
Advice for other motorhomers who travel with pets or are considering traveling with pets?
Be sure to carry copies of all of your pets’ health and immunization records with you. We decided for several reasons not to have microchip implants for our dogs, but we do have their names and our home phone and cell phone numbers written on their collars for identification purposes.
If you will be traveling far from home, check with your veterinarian to see if your pets might need additional immunizations.
Wherever you travel, be sure you know the location of a good veterinarian and, if possible, a 24-hour emergency clinic.
We take with us the dog food our pets are used to, and for long stays we make sure there is a supplier from which we can get the same kind of food. We generally use bottled drinking water for ourselves and our dogs when traveling.
Because of the number of pets we have, we carry a collapsible pen (actually three show pens hooked together) in one of our storage compartments. Whenever we are going to be in one place for a while, we set it up. That way, when we sit out on our patio area, all four dogs can be with us without having four leashes getting tangled together.
One of the best things about our motorhome is the fact that it allows our canine family to travel with us wherever we go!